The American sedan is an endangered species. Sedans sales have taken a back seat to SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks in the hearts of American consumers. But while auto makers retool to make more SUVs and trucks, car buyers can reap the benefits by landing a deep discount on expiring sedan models. Carmakers are shifting quickly, though, so the deals may not last past this year.
The degree of the shift away from sedans may surprise you. Ford, for example, announced it will move $7 billion of manufacturing from sedans into SUVs. As of April 2018, Ford announced that it will only be carrying two sedan models in the U.S., the Mustang and soon-to-come Focus Active. Cut from the lineup: Fiesta, Fusion, Taurus and Focus. Look for deals on those models. Avoid the initial sales hype advertising the ‘last Ford Fusion’ model, and then capitalize once the deals drop, and as history as shown they will.
You can easily keep current about which sedan models are on the chopping block by searching “discontinued cars 2018” in your browser.
So, why the big change from sedans to SUVs and trucks? Gas mileage is a key factor. As efficiency even for bigger vehicles increased, the cost to operate between the two classes of vehicles now isn’t so great. Gas prices have also fallen and remained low for an extended period allowing any differences in mileages to be less and less of a factor for consumers. Even with a big jump in gas prices caused by a spike in oil, analysts point out Americans have a record number of smaller, more efficient SUV hybrids or crossovers to choose from.
Low Price Pinnacle
As car companies begin phasing out American sedan models, the coming months might mark a pinnacle for taking advantage of low sedan models. Expect sedan models to pile up in sellers’ lots for a time as producers finish off their production cycle. However, the surplus won’t last forever and sedan prices should stabilize and even rise as fewer remain on lots.
History can be a good guide to the deals to come. For example, the Dodge Avenger was taken out of production a couple years ago, and to clear them off lots they were discounted more than 15 percent off the sticker price, with savings up to $4,000.
Already, many dealers are offering deals on vanishing models. Ford, Chevrolet and other manufacturers include thousands in cash back (up to $4,000 on a Buick Encore for example) and thousands off MSRP.
These deals are on top of the fact many less-than-luxury sedans prices have been holding steady for a long time. The average used sedan price going back to 2010 has remained roughly within a $15,000 to $18,000 range and shows no signs of rising above this mark. Meanwhile, both the average used SUV and average pickup truck price have steadily risen from $20,000 to $25,000, with no signs of slowing down.
Research by Jack Peden